Community Health Trust introduces technology to help neurology and dementia patients

20th Aug 2015

Digital software which provides memory therapy for patients who have dementia, or those who have suffered a head injury or stroke, has been introduced by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C) at several of its inpatient units.
The My Improvement Network equipment uses interactive touch screen tablets to access personal photos, patients’ favourite music, TV programmes and life stories. A profile can be built about each patient, which can include their likes and dislikes, as well as information about their family and friends.

The aim of using the equipment is to help stimulate conversations between patients, their families, and staff. It can also be used to help staff provide more personalised care.

The software is currently in use at Caroline House, a specialist neurological rehabilitation unit, and Priscilla Bacon Lodge, a palliative care unit, both based at Colman Hospital; and Beech Ward at Norwich Community Hospital, which provides care for patients following a stroke.

They have also been installed at Ogden Court in Wymondham, which provides rehabilitation for those who have had a stroke or are suffering with dementia ahead of their return home or to a care home.

Mary Page, Manager at Caroline House, said:

"This system helps patients to recall memories, which is really helpful in their recovery and rehabilitation."

"Sometimes when you visit a patient with cognitive impairment it can be difficult to know what to say and to keep the conversation going. This software can be used as a tool so relatives can, for example, talk about family photos or find music that their family member likes. They can have music uploaded which the patient enjoys and can help with relaxation for that person."

"What’s really helpful is that we can use the tablets on a one-to-one basis at patients’ bedsides, or we can gather several patients around a big TV monitor and play games or take part in one of the many quizzes contained within the programme."

The trial of My Improvement Network has been paid for through Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust Charitable Fund, registered charity number 1051173.

The Fund receives donations from patients, families, carers, well-wishers and local companies, and is governed completely independently of the Trust to ensure the funds are used appropriately. A Charitable Funds Committee meets at least four times a year to discuss spending plans in response to requests from staff and the wishes of donors.